great, isn’t it? Text makes it so easy to communicate with someone
without having to actually TALK to them. It’s so much easier to be
nasty and vile over text than it is in person, or even over the phone.
But you know what we, as attorneys love about text messages? They create
a written record. So every time you send a text to someone, that message
can be used against you in a court proceeding. Think about that. A
good rule of thumb is if you would not send it to your mother, you probably
should not send it. But that’s not going to stop the barrage of
hateful texts that I see on a daily basis that are sent back and forth between
people who used to love one another or people who had a child together because
when people get in the heat of the moment of texting, they do not think about
what they say. And that is when they say something that is not only
hurtful to the other person, but often hurtful to their case. Text
messages can and will be used as evidence in court
is on the internet these days, right? Well, guess what…so is your
spouse, or their friend, or even their attorney! Yep! Believe it or
not, internet posts have been the downfall of more than a few custody cases,
divorce cases, support cases, personal injury cases, disability cases (you fill
in the blank here). But I am going to stick to talking about an area with
which I am more familiar – family law. Let me start by telling you
that those of you who post your lives on Facebook or Twitter are a family law
attorney’s dream (not for a client, but for an opposing party). If
your account is public, it is FAIR GAME for trial so those lovely pics that you
posted the other night of you obliterated out of your mind while you had
custody of the kids, yep…I’m going to use them as evidence at the
You want to
drug test my client every other week because you suspect he or she is smoking
pot, yet every other post that you put up is about legalizing marijuana?
You bet I’m going to be using that at trial! Oh, and all of those
brutally “honest” jabs at my client that you take on the
web…you know the ones… about what a deadbeat he is, or how she
doesn’t let you see the kids, or even the diatribes wherein you attack
his/her character, you know what…those are the best. Do you want
to know why? They show your complete inability to co-parent and work with
my client. You are only trying to sabotage them. That’s one
of the factors that the Court is going to look at for awarding custody.
Which one of you is the better co-parent? So keep on keeping on.
Post away. I will continue to utilize that information to the best of my
Even if your
posts are not public, do you not remember that you have mutual friends?
And they might not have their privacy settings such that your former spouse
cannot see what is being posted about them. But even more
obvious…those friends have loyalties to both of you. If you are
raking the other spouse’s name through the mud, you can bet that a mutual
friend might be forwarding those posts to your ex.
you’re going to delete it, right? It will be like it never
happened? WRONG! Once it’s posted, it is never completely
gone. And as attorneys, we have the power of Subpoena. If we know
it once existed, we can ask for it from Google, from Facebook, from
Twitter. And guess what, now we have the issue that you have potentially
destroyed evidence…and the court does not take real kindly to
that… at all.
Therefore, the moral of this article…
be careful how you utilize modern technology. Consider
this your “Miranda Warning”… IT CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST
YOU IN A COURT OF LAW….
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